Manchester Airport March passengers up 10% to 1.9m

Manchester Airport continued its period of double-digit growth with 1.9 million passengers flying through the airport’s three terminals in March — 10.1% more than the same month of 2016.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) said the airport added 2.7 million passengers over the year representing growth of 11.4% “in a sign that airlines and passengers alike are increasingly looking to fly from the UK’s third airport as Heathrow and Gatwick fill up.”

MAG said: “The airport’s recent growth has been enough to place it as the second fastest growing large airport in Europe in the most recent analysis from Airport Councils Europe.

“Among airports serving more than 25 million passengers per year, only Moscow Sheremetyevo is growing faster.

“In the past year, Manchester has flown more than 1.1 million additional passengers to Spain alone, and four of the five destinations with the most passenger growth are Spanish …

“After Spain, the next biggest short haul growth has been to France (+261k), Germany (+228k) and Italy (+198k), while the most significant long haul growth has been to the USA (+125k), Pakistan (+112k) and China (+77k) …

“Long haul growth has been driven by new routes, including the new direct service to Beijing with Hainan Airlines, and a new route to Houston with Singapore Airlines.

“Meanwhile, increased capacity to Islamabad has contributed to a surge in traffic to Pakistan.”

MAG owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports and is privately managed on behalf of its shareholders — IFM Investors (35.5%), Manchester City Council (35.5%) and nine other Greater Manchester councils (29%).

Manchester Airport CEO Ken O’Toole said: “March rounded off a strong year of growth at Manchester, meaning we are now one of the fastest growing airports not just in the UK, but in Europe as a whole.

“It was particularly pleasing to end the month with the launch of our San Francisco service, which is a route we have long coveted and one that business and leisure passengers have been calling for some time.”